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Dental X-rays

Have you ever wondered why your dentist takes X-rays every so often when you visit? These high-tech images are just one way Aspen Dental stays on top of your oral health, helping to keep your smile healthy.

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What are dental X-rays?

Dental X-rays, also known as dental radiographs, are specialized images that offer a behind-the-scenes look at your teeth, gums and jawbone. These X-rays are vital for diagnosing conditions that are not visible during a routine dental checkup. They are also useful for tracking changes to your smile to pinpoint any possible concerns.

Dental issues detected through dental X-rays

Dental X-rays are a valuable diagnostic tool. Below are some of the conditions that can be detected: 

One of the most common uses of dental X-rays is to detect cavities, especially those that form between teeth or under existing fillings. Learn more about cavities here.

Also known as periodontal disease, dental X-rays can show signs of gum disease by revealing changes in the bone level around the teeth. Learn more about gum disease here.

An abscess is a pocket of infection that forms around the root of the tooth. X-rays are a critical part of early detection and treatment.

Teeth that have failed to emerge through the gums, commonly seen with wisdom teeth, reveal on X-rays if they need to be surgically removed.

Cysts, tumors and other pathological changes in the oral cavity can be detected with more advanced X-rays like panoramic X-rays or CBCT.

Dental X-rays can reveal bone loss in the jaw, which is important for diagnosing conditions like periodontal disease.

X-rays are vital for monitoring tooth development and are particularly useful for identifying dental issues related to tooth alignment or spacing.

If you're getting dental implants, aligners or other dental treatments, X-rays provide essential information for treatment planning.

Dental X-rays can help locate foreign objects in the teeth or gums in cases of trauma or accident. 

An Aspen Dental dentist reviewing dental X-rays with a patient, discussing oral health and treatment options on a computer screen.

Dental X-ray preparation and procedure

Typically, little preparation is needed for dental X-rays. You may be asked to remove any metal objects from your mouth, such as piercings, and wear a lead apron as a protective measure. The X-ray machine is then positioned to capture images. You’ll need to hold still for a few seconds while the image is taken. 

Types of dental X-rays

There are different types of dental X-rays available, depending on your needs. Your Aspen Dental dentist will help you determine which is best for you. The options include: 

Bitewing X-rays

Periapical X-rays

Panoramic X-rays

Occlusal X-rays

Cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT)

Cephalometric X-rays

Revolutionizing dental diagnostics: digital X-ray technology

At Aspen Dental, we offer precise digital imaging to get a comprehensive look at your teeth. Digital X-rays provide many benefits for both you and your dentist, including: 

Digital imaging allows X-rays to be sent directly to a computer, becoming instantly available for viewing, storing or printing. 

Digital X-rays require far less radiation exposure compared to traditional film X-rays, making it safer for you.

X-rays are viewable on-screen within seconds, making consultation and treatment planning more efficient.

Digital technology offers incredible image clarity. The image can be magnified and enhanced allowing your dentist to quickly diagnose any concerns.

Need to see a specialist? Digital X-rays can be electronically sent to other providers along with your dental history.

Subtraction radiography allows your dentist to digitally compare your current and past X-rays. This can reveal even the slightest changes that otherwise may have gone unnoticed.

Why choose Aspen Dental for digital X-rays?

Cutting-edge technology

Aspen Dental uses the latest digital technology, offering top-notch image quality and minimal radiation exposure.


Highly skilled dental professionals are experts at capturing and interpreting digital X-rays, ensuring an accurate and efficient diagnosis.

Patient-centered care

The speed and clarity of digital X-rays allows you to make quicker and more informed decisions about your dental care. This puts you at the center of your treatment planning process. 

After a dental X-ray

Dentist reviews patient's dental X-rays for comprehensive oral examination.


Your dentist will review the X-rays and discuss any findings with you. They will also answer any questions you have and discuss possible treatment options. 

Dental consultant discussing treatment plan with patient after reviewing dental X-rays for comprehensive oral care.

Treatment plan

Based on the X-ray results, your dentist will develop a treatment plan tailored to your needs.

Patient requesting digital X-ray records for a second opinion on their oral health and dental treatment options.

Digital records

You may request a copy of your X-rays for your records or for a second opinion, if necessary.

Dental X-ray cost

The cost of dental X-rays depends on factors such as your geographical location, the type of X-ray and whether you have dental insurance. Basic bitewing X-rays may cost between $25 and $75, while more specialized X-rays, like panoramic or 3D images, can range from $100 to $250 or more. Contact your local Aspen Dental for a precise cost estimate tailored to your specific needs and to confirm what portion of the cost is covered by your insurance.

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Dental X-ray FAQs

Dental X-rays are generally considered safe during pregnancy, especially when proper protective measures like lead aprons are used to shield the abdomen and thyroid.

The frequency of X-rays depends on your individual needs. Generally, if you’re a new patient, a set of X-rays will be taken for a comprehensive overview of your dental condition. Your dentist may recommend additional imaging based on your oral health history or if concerns are found during a routine checkup.

Yes, dental X-rays are generally considered safe, as they expose you to a very low level of radiation compared to other types of X-rays. Modern techniques and protective measures like lead aprons further minimize the risks, making the procedure safe for children and adults.

Reading dental X-rays is a specialized skill that requires training in radiology and dentistry. Your dentist is the best person to interpret these images, they typically look for abnormalities like cavities, bone loss and impacted teeth to assess your oral health needs. 

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Get behind your oral health with dental X-rays

Dental X-rays are more than just images; they are an important tool for maintaining your oral health. Aspen Dental uses cutting-edge, safe and effective dental X-rays, offering you the very best for your beautiful smile. Schedule you appointment today.

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